Friday, July 08, 2005

Heads up

My partner often jokes that people who run the country read The Times, and those who think they should run the country read The Guardian. I fall into the latter category, and while we're talking about it, can I just say, that I think I could do a better job than some people...;)

Just wanted to give a little heads up to Robin Cook's coverage of the London bombings in the Guardian.

I am concerned that we don't get a mass outpouring of anger and a call to war with the terrorists. No-one will win if we play that game. As Robin Cook says, the war on terror cannot be won by military means, it must be fought in the backstreets with poverty, with the nonviolent methods of justice, compassion and generosity to our neighbours.

Please - no war this time, no retaliation, let us learn another way. Let us bring those who carried out these terrible attacks to justice, but let that be tempered with compassion and understanding, and deep sorrow for our own role in creating a world where anyone would be driven to carry out such atrocities.

One of the criticisms of the Make Poverty History campaign, and its focus on protest at the G8 summit in Scotland this week has been its focus on 8 world leaders, perhaps ignoring our individual responsibilities to live more ethically, to drive a little less, walk a little more, consume a little less, refuse to buy produce that allows anyone to make money from child labour, poverty and unsafe working conditions. We must all take action.

I cannot help but wonder, what is the grassroots action that needs to be done to fight the war on terror. Is it dialogue, friendship and understanding with our neighbours of multiple cultures, colours, faiths and creeds? Is it to take to the streets in protest to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? Is it to stay informed? Is it to take care of refugees in our own communities? Is it to live peacefully with one another? Is it to give generously to reputable charities working to alleviate poverty and suffering at home and abroad?

I am finished work now for the weekend - a long one this time, with my mum coming to visit. After the events of yesterday, amongst other things that have been going on for me this week, I am feeling quite exhausted, so I'm really looking forward to this.

I shall leave you with a picture from the Isaiah war near the UN headquarters in New York City...

Hmm, it seems its really hard to read the inscription, but it reads

"They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."

Peace to all.


Rich in Brooklyn said...

Glad you are not one of the victims in the recent bombing! And also glad you're able to see so clearly and speak so eloquently in a dark confusing time.
- - Rich

Martin said...

Does your partner nick all his jokes from Yes Minister? :-p

Martin said...

p.s. as an Independent reader, I'm sure he would say that I don't know who is running the country, but I know they're doing it wrong. My Dad reads the Daily Mail, so he is one of the wives of the people who runs the country. Make of that what you will

ash said...

Kudos on the choice of paper anyway. I read The Guardian online, also Indymedia, BBC and The Sun (my mum buys it, and it's interesting to see what the papers are propagandising about people so as to stand against it). And yes, I could run the country fine. ;o)

Yes, no more war. Condoleeza Rice's statement about "the only way to respond is with Strength" is, frankly, absurd. How war is supposed to lead to peace is always beyond me.

Contemplative Activist said...

Thanks all for your comments - I should watch Yes Minister more often Martin, then I'd see where partner dude gets his jokes from.

This is one of those occasions when my Christian background speaks volumes to me. "Overcome evil with good".

There is a lovely, fairly elderly man in our meeting who used to do lots of prison work, and he always tends to come up trumps with thoughtful contributions. Yesterday he spoke of Jesus' warnings that there would be wars, violence and men's hearts would faint. But said that the way of Christ is to live as though we were at peace, practicing kindness, love, hospitality and caring for others as though they were ourselves.

That is how we will defeat terrorism. If we want to brandish our strength and power around, we can only expect others to react likewise.

Martin said...

Dear The Worst Attempt At Anonymity I've Ever Seen,

It's fine, just make sure you realise when he says:

If you cock up, it's my arse on the line. Your cock up. My arse.

that he's nicked that from The Thin Blue Line.

Amanda said...


Your posts are so full of love and good sense, two things the world needs desperately.

Thank you very much for being you. I miss you!